Thankfully, radiators in my apartment haven’t begun to clang and sputter, but the temperatures are dropping here in Brooklyn, and I have begun to layer up while I pad around the house. Living in both the WFH purgatory of COVID and being in a radiator heated apartment means indoor layering is all the rage for me this fall. Perpetually living in the confines of my Bed-Stuy apartment, I have tried to mix up my outermost fall layers for my sanity, and not just to wear the same wine-stained crewneck sweatshirt day in and day out. There are a handful of layering garments you can grab onto when the temperature dips and the cold drafts blow through.
M-1951 Cold Weather Wool Shirt
Obviously, no one here is a stranger to military surplus garments, but these M-1951 wool shirts are a bit more under the radar. Why? I have no idea. This military issue overshirts might be the most versatile and wearable piece of uniform to ever come out of the US Quartermaster Corps. Cut wide and short and made from a wool nylon mix, they are soft and machine washable. The fabric isn’t too scratchy; you can even wear it over a T-shirt. I enjoy them with patches sewn on, but completely blank is also a great look. With the long collar, you can easily stand it up for added wind protection. These were also made in massive quantities, with them still being issued up to the 1980s, which means you can always find them plentifully cheap on milsurp websites and eBay. There have also been a few brands riffing off the style over the past couple of years, from Uniqlo U (out of stock) to this recent Ralph Lauren version. Universal Works also has a similar style in a less militaristic hue.
The Fair Isle V
I have gone fully in on Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles style. Yes, that includes Fair Isle sweaters and sweater vests. I feel like J. Crew kind of ruined Fair Isle style sweaters for a bit, but I think they are ready to come out of mothballs. Personally, I think the key to not looking like a J. Crew model circa 2010 is to go for a v-neck, as deep as you can find. I also love the T-shirt and v-neck sweater vest look, a rather advanced move that a much more stylish friend of mine pulls off with ease. Of the full sleeve variety, there are plenty of lighter weight Ralph Lauren models on eBay that are rather nice. Vests are in no short supply from the likes of J. Press, Jaimeson’s, and O’Connell’s. You can also go the vintage route; I am sure Crowley Vintage will be able to help you there.
The Chunky Cotton Sweater
I have somehow ended up with more than enough cotton sweaters in my wardrobe. I was traditionally never a fan but mostly getting dressed for the journey from my bedroom to the kitchen table, the soft chunky cotton sweater has become my best friend. While it may not keep you warm on a socially distanced stoop hang or a cold walk to the train, for at-home wear, it may be perfect. I like them the chunkier, the better, my two favorites being a Steven Alan Sample navy blue and an old Wallace & Barnes Indigo dyed crewneck that saw me through college. Perfect to throw on over a T-shirt or even your pajamas; these have been heavy in my rotation. Carrier Co, one of my favorite brands, has an absolutely stunning cotton jumper that looks rugged enough for seafaring, but in cotton is sure to be comfortable enough for watching Master and Commander on the couch. J. Crew also has their 1988 cotton rollneck sweaters that are simple and rather toasty.
Work jackets or chore jackets, whatever you want to call them, have gotten a little out of hand over the past few years. I am still a fan, but for god’s sake, please don’t buy one from some dumb DTC brand. They have now been maligned, but I am still a fan, especially of vintage European ones you can find on Etsy in abundance, but also new riffs on the design by the likes of Universal Works and one of my favorites, Ullac. Since the weather became a bit chillier, I have found myself grabbing one of my many work style coats more than in the past. It’s just easy to throw on when you are croggy and not look like you rolled out of bed; maybe that’s it. My vintage moleskin and herringbone twill jackets have been working hard, while my bright yellow Ullac joint should be getting more wear as the temperature drops farther.